There is some doubt as to whether or not Marie Antoinette, wife of France’s King Louis XVI actually said the words, “Let them eat cake.” There is however, no doubt that they have been attributed to her.
She allegedly made the statement after she had been told that the French people had no bread to eat. What has endured to the popular culture of today is more the context in which the words themselves were said. Until this week, in an Ole Seagull’s mind, Marie Antoinette and the statement attributed to her have stood alone in symbolizing arrogance, lack of compassion, deficient public relational skills, and the disrespectfulness of those ruling, governing or managing for the people they serve.
However, this week, two statements, one national and the other local, might just challenge Antoinette and her statement for that roll. The first is a statement by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley quoted in the “Verbatim” section of the July 20 edition of Time Magazine when he responded to a question about health insurance from a person at a town hall meeting in Waukon, Iowa on July 6.
When asked, “How come I can’t have the same thing you have?” Grassley responded, “You can. Go to work for the Federal Government.” Grassley’s arrogance and apparent lack of compassion for the health insurance needs of non federal employees is exceeded only by his demonstrated lack of public relations skills and respect for those he is serving.
Who does Grassley think pays the bills for subsidizing the health insurance that he and all federal employees enjoy? Could not the argument be made that the non government workers paying the taxes used to pay those bills, in a very real sense, “work for the Federal government?”
Last weekend, according to published reports, residents to the gated community of Pointe Royale discovered that their community was that no longer secure because gate security personnel had been laid off and other amenities, including the closing of the indoor pool, had been eliminated. The actions were taken over the weekend immediately after the residents voted not to approve an additional assessment to make up for a shortfall in golfing revenues.
The results of the election were close and show that the Pointe Royale community is divided just about down the middle. In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, based on his knowledge of the situation, the vote was not so much against the assessment. It was more about the manner in which the issue was presented and the arrogance, apparent lack of concern for those who don’t golf, but do pay assessments, and the lack of respect shown to residents by some members of the current board and its General Manager, Terry Dody.
That attitude was illustrated by the actions that were taken over the weekend immediately after the vote and the reported reply by Dody when asked about that action. Dody said, “They should have voted ‘Yes,’” No discussion about what other things could have been done after the vote to help resolve the situation in a way that could unite the community. Instead, for whatever reason, in the opinion of an Ole Seagull, what the board and Dody did was take the arrogant, uncompassionate, and disrespectful actions they took to force a revote and get the result they want.
“Hey Seagull, do you think Dody will be able to do for Pointe Royale what he did for the city of Branson?” In an Ole Segull’s, opinion, he has already done it. To him, Dody’s response regarding the actions taken in response to the vote, “They should have voted ‘Yes’” says it all.